The Brothers Grimsby was met with a grim reception in its opening weekend (11-13Mar16), only earning $3.2 million (£2.2 million) towards its production cost of $35 million (£24.3 million). It has been ranked as Sacha's worst opening to date, according to USAToday.com.
Sacha's spy spoof landed in eighth place in the North American box office – his lowest ever debut, and way behind The DICtator’s $17.4 million (£12.1 million) haul from 2012. In comparison, his film Borat collected $26.4 million (£18.4 million) in 2006, and Bruno managed a huge $30.6 million (£20.3 million) opening in 2009.
The Brothers Grimsby, known as Grimsby in the U.K., in which Sacha plays a Liam Gallagher-like football-loving buffoon who discovers his brother is a secret agent, debuted in the U.K. on 24 February (16) and has been met with mixed reviews.
“Sacha Baron Cohen brings his B-game – or maybe even his C-game – to this moderate new comedy that basically defeated my attempts to like it," wrote The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw.
"A Freudian might be able to make something of Sacha Baron Cohen's emphasis on bodily orifices and protrusions in The Brothers Grimsby," the New York Times' critic Manohla Dargis writes. "I prefer a more obvious explanation: At some point during the making of this 1-hour-18-minute burlesque, Mr. Cohen became bored..."
"Ultimately, the jokes are more stupefying than funny and no one's anatomy is safe from a gratuitous close-up, whether it's that of a wild animal or an Oscar nominee," Lindsey Bahr of The Associated Press adds.
Film company Sony denies reports it "buried" the comedy to avoid upsetting Donald Trump, who features in the film via a controversial "Aids joke". But some reports claim the film was lightly marketed in North America, with minimal billboard and television advertising, claims British newspaper The Guardian.
Sacha has been promoting the movie himself by showing it to celebrities such as the Kardashian family and Courteney Cox and asking them to post their reactions on social media.
Disney Animation Studio’s Zootopia, retained the No. 1 spot with another $50 million (£35 million) in receipts and has now scored $142 million (£99 million) in just two weeks of release in North America. The tale of a city populated by talking animals hit $431 million (£300 million) at the global box office this weekend.